Five Tips to Make Your Job As Facility Manager That Much Easier

The job of a facility manager is often underestimated. You might be seen as not much more than an office manager to those outside the industry. But facility maintenance is the unseen burden that keeps a business going. Without your hard work and dedication, the building would fall apart. However, just because you hold the weight of the building’s performance on your shoulders, that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. 


MaintenX works with facility managers from all industries to ensure that proper maintenance can be made simpler. Below are our five tips to make your job easier by collaborating with our specialized maintenance teams: 


Start the day right. 

Begin every day onsite with a quick walkthrough of the premises. This doesn’t have to take long, but you want to make sure that you spot any maintenance issues as soon as they appear. The more frequently you check the premises for signs of damage and repairs, the less you’ll have to spend on reactive maintenance. 


Make a productive maintenance schedule. 

Scheduling preventative maintenance services should be routine by now, but you could be working your schedule even better if you retool it just a little. Have a sit-down with your MaintenX team to optimize your preventative maintenance routine. Once you have an ideal schedule, work to maintain it, and soon it will become routine. 


Budget for major projects in advance. 

A renovation project, equipment upgrade, or other significant maintenance repairs need to be scheduled in advance. You shouldn’t wait until the repair is necessary before you start planning for it. When you notice improvements that could be made to the building, get your budget approved early so you can take control of the project rather than the project taking control of you. 


Don’t pack your schedule. 

While we try our best to avoid them, emergency maintenance repairs will happen eventually. If you overbook your maintenance schedule, emergency service will throw off your entire game plan. Be sure to make space for potential emergencies. This will not only make it easier on your maintenance team but will also help you better budget your time and money. 


Choose the right maintenance contractor. 

A facility manager with a strong maintenance plan cannot achieve their goals without a top-notch maintenance crew. You want to choose your maintenance contractors carefully to ensure they are capable of your goals and will complete jobs on time and above expectations. When you choose MaintenX, you are picking from top contractors in your area who are available 24/7 for your emergency and preventative repairs. Don’t settle for less when you can choose the best in the country for your facility!


To learn more about our preventative and emergency maintenance services, contact your local MaintenX team today. 

Six Ways To Improve Office Lighting

The modern world of technology has made it possible for humans to be active 24/7. We work all hours of the day and in all types of conditions, but we don’t always think about how this affects our body or productivity. It’s no secret that lighting, both natural and artificial, affects our circadian rhythm, mood, activity, and much more. Therefore, your office lighting can and should be optimized for the health of your staff. 


Lighting is also a major source of energy consumption in most buildings. It accounts for an average of 17% of total energy consumption in U.S. buildings. When you optimize your lighting, you can reduce energy costs while providing your employees with a better working environment. Below are six ways you can optimize your office lighting with minimal investment: 


Install CFL, LED, or another energy-efficient lighting.

Installing energy-efficient lightbulbs is one of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption in your facility. The larger the building, the more profound an impact this can have. Ask your MaintenX electrician about available energy-efficient lighting for different areas in your office space. They can help you make the best decision for cost savings and productivity.


Change flickering fluorescent lighting.

Flickering fluorescent lights can cause epileptic seizures which may put your entire staff in danger. Be sure to change flickering fluorescent bulbs immediately or any other flickering lights. 


Make use of windows. 

Natural light is also a natural mood elevator. By maintaining windows (especially those that can block UV rays and keep your facility cooler), you can offer your employees a more comfortable daytime experience. 


Consider the brightness and color of lighting for different times of the day. 

Our sleep cycles are greatly affected by lighting. Generally, intense blue light can cause sleep problems, so it’s important to balance this artificial light with warmer lights and natural light whenever possible. Consider warmer lighting for nighttime, as this can reduce eye strain and help your employees be more comfortable.


Ask your employees about their individual needs.

Different employees will prefer different lighting for their workspaces. Those who are older or who have vision problems may require more light than others. By installing a mix of overhead lights, movable direct lighting, and natural light sources, you can optimize different areas of the office for different productivity needs.


Install motion-sensor lighting. 

Motion-sensored lighting can also help you reduce your facility’s energy consumption. When lights are left on overnight they can burn an incredible amount of energy. Motion-sensored lighting takes the responsibility out of employees’ hands and makes cost-saving automatic. 


MaintenX is here to help you reduce energy costs and improve your facility performance through effective facility maintenance. To learn more about your lighting and electrical options, contact us today!

Five Reasons to Be Wary of the Lowest-Bidding Maintenance Contractor

Facility managers have a tight budget to manage, and every dollar counts. More often than not you don’t have the option to increase your budget, especially when it comes to preventative maintenance. However, there are plenty of reasons to be wary of the lowest-bidding contractor as well. You should consider quality and craftsmanship above the lowest price when working with maintenance teams, or you could pay for it in the long run. 


Not sure if your maintenance contractor is worth hiring? Consider this before choosing the company with the lowest price: 


They could be underbidding for a reason. 

Unfortunately, not all contractors are transparent during their consultation and estimate. They might underbid with a plan to upcharge you later on, or will only factor in the cost of parts in the initial assessment. You can’t always tell which contractors are honest during the first consultation, which is why it’s important to read plenty of reviews before signing a contract. 


They may not have the experience. 

Contractors who are new to the business will often offer low prices in order to get the experience they need. While an inexperienced contractor isn’t necessarily unskilled, they may miss things that an experienced contractor wouldn’t. A lack of experience may also cause them to bid low because they don’t understand the full scope of the job. You may end up paying more for a contractor who underestimates their time or costs. 


They won’t have enough manpower. 

If a bid seems deceptively low, you’ll want to ask about the crew that will be working on your project. Sometimes contractors will skirt by with a bare-bones crew in order to bid low and keep a greater share of the profits. However, this can cause issues in the quality and timeliness of your project. Ask ahead of time before choosing a one-man team to work on your commercial construction project. 


They’re sacrificing the quality of materials. 

Some contractors are able to bid low because they choose the cheapest materials available to get the job done. While this is a smart way to get customers, it is not a great way to keep them. Cheap materials can lead to maintenance problems later on, which is why you’ll want to consult with your contractor before they buy parts for your project. 


You’ll get what you pay for. 

In general, a quality contractor will cost more than a beginner. However, the small investment you make now will pay tenfold when you don’t have to worry about follow-up repairs or a complete do-over when the repair or renovation is failing. Choosing a contractor with solid reviews, experience, and transparency is the best way to ensure long-term satisfaction. 


MaintenX never skips out on quality to give you a cheaper price. We offer affordable maintenance services that improve your facility overall and are honest with our clients during every consultation. To learn more about what sets MaintenX apart, contact us today!

Safety Checklist for Your Facility’s Spring Cleaning

Spring has finally arrived which means it’s time for a seasonal facility inspection and outdoor maintenance checkup. In Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, we see drastic changes between the spring and summer. Some of these changes are minor, while others can cause a host of maintenance and safety issues for your staff. 


While scheduling your spring maintenance, be sure to plan for these inspections and services: 


Assessment of winter damage

Even with the mild winters, we have in Florida, the change of season can reveal issues from colder months. Potholes, dead landscaping, and damage from freezes can all contribute to maintenance issues addressed in the spring. It’s important to schedule a consultation to identify these issues before jumping into your spring cleaning plan.


Address issues with water drainage and irrigation

Spring usually brings more rain in Florida, and can also come with melting snow and ice in northern parts of the country. That is why it’s essential to check your water drainage systems as early as possible to ensure you don’t run into problems when the first April showers hit. Issues with water drainage can lead to slip and fall hazards, flooding, mosquito breeding, and hardscape damage. The sooner you act, the safer your facility will be. 


Spruce up your landscaping

As the weather warms up it’s important to tend to your landscaping. Remove debris, trim overgrown landscaping, and ensure that hazardous materials are cleaned up from your property. This should be taken care of early in the spring so that your landscaping doesn’t become overwhelming to manage in the summer. 


Plan for pest control

Pests cause serious safety hazards for your facility. Not only can they spread disease, but they can also do serious damage to your infrastructure (not to mention your reputation if they are seen by clients). Schedule pest control services for the early spring and ask your maintenance team to address any infrastructural damage such as chewed wires or termite-infested wood. 


Protect your parking lot

After a long winter, your parking lot may need repairs. Colder months can cause cracks in asphalt or for potholes to get worse. Don’t let employees and visitors injure themselves or damage their vehicles on your property. Schedule parking lot maintenance to ensure everyone has a safe ride. 


Spring maintenance can be easy with MaintenX by your side. We ensure that your facility tenants and employees are not only safe but are always taken care of with their maintenance requests. To learn more about our spring preventative maintenance services, contact us today!

How to Conquer Your Maintenance Backlog

Very few facility managers want to admit how intimidating their backlog can be. It’s a never-ending problem that only seems to grow. Tackling the backlog all at once can seem like an impossible task, but the longer a facility waits, the worse it will get. However, MaintenX can help you eliminate the backlog and get you in a position for maximum maintenance success. 


Typically, the backlog includes all work that has been requested, planned, but not completed. The backlog is measured in its entirety by the predicted hours or weeks it will take to complete. Some facilities are able to schedule their backlog effectively, while others treat it as a first-come, first-serve order of services.


While you may think you need to eliminate the backlog completely, experts believe that having zero backlog can lead to an increase in maintenance costs. Without scheduled services, the maintenance team may focus on corrective and preventative maintenance that is low-priority. This can lead to unneeded labor hours and services, which is not ideal either. 


MaintenX recommends scheduling two weeks’ worth of scheduled services, and two weeks of lower priority services for planning in the future. Your maintenance staff needs a game plan for their week if they are to use their time efficiently. However, you should always be looking ahead for preventative services to ensure that your long-term maintenance pals are reached. 


In order to achieve this ideal four-week backlog, you’ll want to prioritize your workload based on available parts, staffing, and urgency.  Equipment that is near the critical point should be addressed in the first week, while regular preventative repairs can be scheduled for weeks two and three. A system of balanced planning and execution is essential for a seamless backlog. 


You also want to plan generously for reactive maintenance during this four-week backlog planning period. You never know when reactive maintenance repairs will come up, so we suggest scheduling for 5-10 hours less than your regular workweek to accommodate these changes. You don’t want to overwork your maintenance staff while they’re trying to eliminate existing work orders!


With these tips in mind, your facility can effectively reduce downtime and create a process for backlog management. To learn more about our system at MaintenX, contact your local team today!

How To Use Your Work Order Data To Improve Facility Operations

The effectiveness of your maintenance team is a great indicator of your overall facility performance. If your maintenance team is overworked and undervalued, that’s a good sign that your facility is facing growing pains (or is aging quickly). However, if your maintenance team is on top of work orders and has a short backlog, signs point toward a healthy and productive facility. 


You can learn tremendously from your work order data. By analyzing downtime, wrench time, labor costs, and equipment performance, you can learn a great deal about the inner workings of your facility. However, when you ignore these data points, you are only setting yourself at a disadvantage. If you want to learn your facility inside and out, follow these steps for using work order data to improve facility performance: 


Define your goal.

There are hundreds of data points to analyze in your maintenance program. You could study wrench time, costs of reactive maintenance, or labor hours, but without context, these numbers won’t help you improve. What do you want to accomplish this year with your maintenance team? Do you want to: 


  • Strengthen your preventative maintenance program
  • Create a more lean strategy for maintenance
  • Reduce downtime and reactive maintenance costs
  • Grow your maintenance department on pace with the rest of your facility


Once you define your maintenance goals for the year, you can move on to determining your key performance indicators. 


Choose KPIs

Not all data will be useful in reaching your goals. Depending on the size of your maintenance team, you may want to stick to three to five KPIs in order to narrow your focus and create a practical plan for your ground floor staff. Some KPIs for small to midsize maintenance teams can include: 


  • Percentage of reactive vs. preventive repairs
  • Frequency of reactive repairs per month
  • Number of expected versus actual labor/overtime
  • Costs of reactive repairs and increase/decrease over time
  • Number of daily work orders in the backlog 


Build your maintenance strategy around these measurements.

Once you’ve determined the metrics you want to try and improve within your maintenance team, it’s time to put that plan into action. Brainstorm with your maintenance team leads to determine what actions can be taken to reach your goals along with key performance metrics. For example, if your goal is to reduce the daily backlog, you can devise a plan to clear out the backlog or to improve the work order management system speed. 


Implement “big picture” ideas into day-to-day operations. 

Once you’ve determined your strategy and KPIs, you can implement daily solutions to reach toward your bigger goals. Improvements are achieved one day at a time and can accumulate when everyone on the maintenance staff is on board. When you work together to achieve your bigger goals, you can see them work faster and more smoothly than when implementing a top-down approach. 


MaintenX believes that work order management is the key to any successful preventative maintenance program. That’s why we use a fully automated work order system that gets your work order request from dispatch to inspection in only a matter of hours. To learn more about our preventative maintenance system, contact your local MaintenX team today. 

Why Work Order Management Is Top Priority for Facility Managers

For many facility managers, work order management is like the family junk drawer. It’s messy, disorganized, but functional enough to set aside. However, when it goes unchecked for enough years, by the time it starts to cause problems no one knows where to start. If you let this happen in your kitchen, it’s not a big deal. However, when you let your work order management process get out of hand, you’ll have a big mess to clean up sooner or later. 


On average, maintenance departments handle 45 or more work orders per week. Without a seamless management system, this can easily become overwhelming for your staff. In addition, with no work order management system, you cannot look at your maintenance trends over time. Your management process serves as an analytical tool for wrench time studies and much more, but only if it is in order. 


Work order management issues will inevitably affect your entire staff. That’s why it’s important to address them now so your maintenance team can work effectively and save your business money. Below are the steps to maximize performance through more effective work order management: 


Steps To Clean Up Your Work Order Management


  • Identify missing inventory, inaccurate records, and outdated service requests. The first step is to clear out the clutter within your work order management system. Oftentimes when work order management gets out of hand, the staff leaves old or outdated information because they’re overwhelmed. In order to create order from this chaos, you have to do an overhaul of your outdated system. 

  • Reorder your current work order list by priority, not time. Once you’ve eliminated or addressed outdated information within the system, you can reorder your work requests by urgency. Talk with your maintenance team to determine which repairs are necessary versus which can be put on the backburner for now. The goal is to eliminate all work orders from most to least urgent so your maintenance team can start fresh. 


  • Convert your work order management process to digital. If you are still using handwritten notes or emails for your work order management, it’s time for a change. MaintenX uses a fully automated work order management system to ensure that every request is addressed immediately. Our dispatch team receives the work order as soon as it is submitted, and we can send a team out within hours to address the problem. Communication issues are significantly reduced, leading to increased efficiency for both the business and maintenance team. 


  • Implement goals and standardize your work order processing. Managing work orders isn’t just about crossing tasks off a to-do list. You want to look at the big picture and understand how your work order management can impact facility efficiency and costs. By providing a direction for your maintenance team, you can see a greater reduction in costs and inefficiencies. 


According to Fiix data, you can increase asset performance by 50% when you organize your work order management. MaintenX can help you achieve these results with our automated work order management. We work with the finest maintenance specialists who will be dispatched to your location within hours of submission. 

Understanding the Benefits of Predictive Maintenance

Equipment maintenance can be both inconvenient and costly for any facility. When machinery is malfunctioning, the downtime hinders productivity and may even bring operations to a complete halt. That, coupled with the cost and headache involved in repairing or replacing the equipment, makes it a situation to avoid if at all possible. Thankfully it is possible to avoid the vast majority of reactive maintenance through the proper practice of predictive maintenance.


What exactly is predictive maintenance?


Predictive maintenance, also known as preventative maintenance, is the practice of scheduling regular checkups on facility equipment and performing small fixes over time in order to prevent major problems from arising down the road. By knowing the state of your equipment and doing maintenance on a regular basis, you will be able to catch potential problems such as wear, corrosion, and errors in operation before they become an emergency situation. If you have the right technicians, they will also be able to identify common problems with the exact equipment you use and know when components are reaching their end of life and when replacements and modifications are most necessary.


Benefits in time and money


The most notable benefit to predictive maintenance is the time that it saves for the facility. If you can choose when a certain machine is down for maintenance to replace parts, you will clearly choose times when it would not be in operation, unlike if an emergency situation arises. This saves both time and productivity for staff. There is also a cost benefit to setting up a predictive maintenance plan, as small fixes will always be cheaper than major repairs or replacing the entire piece of equipment. Additionally, this cost can be spread out over time, thereby making it much easier to budget for, especially because it is much more predictable.


Predictive maintenance is a must-do practice for any facility manager in order to save time and money and ensure the longevity of equipment. If you are unsure how to set up a good plan or need the right team of technicians to help you maintain equipment in the long term, we at MaintenX are here to help. For more information about our predictive maintenance plans and emergency repair services, please call us any time at (855) 751-0075.

What Is Quality Management?

Many factors can make or break a company, but one of the most important is quality. Whether making products or performing a service, excellence in execution is key for long-term success. After all, who would continue to buy from a company whose products and services are sub-par compared to other companies? Because of this, businesses should prioritize quality management to succeed.


Defining quality management


Quality management is the act of overseeing anything that is involved in the production of a product or execution of a service that contributes to an excellent end result. This involves both the components that go into making a product, the staff that oversees production, any formal tasks needed along the way, and customer service. Depending on the company, the specifics involved with day to day quality management will be different, but the overseeing of excellence from start to finish is absolutely essential to ensuring that the best quality possible goods and services are maintained.


What it means for your facility


If you are a facility manager, then you no doubt have a great understanding of quality management. The factors that might be involved in quality management for you might be the equipment that you use at your facility, the training and management of the staff that runs that equipment, and anything that might contribute to the health and morale of employees, such as ensuring that the air conditioning and plumbing systems are working properly. These are all things that are sometimes difficult to deal with, but it would be unacceptable to let quality dip.


At MaintenX, we offer services for maintaining all kinds of facility equipment. Whether you need a preventative maintenance plan set up to prevent complications from arising or emergency repairs performed at a moment’s notice, our team of expert technicians is here to help. To learn more about our maintenance services and how we can help you achieve top quality output, please call us today at (855) 751-0075.

Developing Your 2021 Emergency Maintenance Plan

Part of being a good facility manager means having an emergency plan at the ready should the worst happen to your facility. Although not all circumstances are predictable, if you have the basis for what to do in an emergency situation, such as vital equipment failure, facility system downtime, and natural disasters, you and everyone in the facility will be in a much better way. As the year goes on, it is always a good idea to tune the plan that you have and develop your 2021 emergency maintenance plan today.


Preparing for equipment and system failures


Even with the best maintenance, emergencies can still happen. Have a plan ready for when equipment breaks down unexpectedly. In preparing for such an occasion, it is a good idea to have a repair technician on standby, or work with a company that can be on site on a moment’s notice. It is also important to prepare your business workflows for interruptions and have contingency plans for if equipment is offline, especially until repairs are completed. 


Preparing for natural disasters


Depending on where in the country your facility is located, there are a number of natural disasters that could impact the operations of your facility. Whether it is a hurricane, which brings the risk of a power outage and flooding, earthquake, which could damage vital equipment, or fire, which could cause incredible damage to the entire facility, having a plan in place now will help you mitigate damages and recover from them. In general, backup generators, surge protectors, wind resistant windows and exteriors, and other relevant components are all worth researching and investing in.


Developing an emergency maintenance plan will save you cost and angst in the long term, so it is essential to come up with one now. If you need an expert maintenance team to help you fulfill your emergency plan, we at MaintenX are the right team for the job. To learn more about our facility maintenance services, including emergency repairs and preventative maintenance plans, please call us today at (855) 751-0075.